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Meet You By Hachiko

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What would you do if your best friend lived half a world away—and suddenly vanished?

Loner Grace Ryan feels completely invisible. Awkward and shy, she can't seem to get ahead in her studies, social circle, or new relationship with her childhood best friend. But discovering Tokyo street fashion ignites her creativity and leads her into an unlikely online friendship with a Japanese high schooler.

Beautiful and fashionable Kana eats, sleeps and breathes English in order to pass her university entrance exam, but she’s tired of sacrificing her own happiness for everyone else’s high expectations. Kana finds a friend and conversation partner in Grace, relieved to distract herself with someone else's problems for a change.

Just when things are finally going right, Grace's best friend abandons her, her relationship falls apart, and Kana disappears without saying goodbye. Fearing for her friend's safety, Grace boards a flight to Japan…only to realize that she is completely unprepared for the bright lights and confusing streets of the real Tokyo.

Finding one lost girl among twelve million is much more than she bargained for.

304 pages, Paperback

First published February 25, 2020

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About the author

Loren Greene

7 books31 followers
Raised just outside of St. John’s, Newfoundland, Loren grew up hoping to become the next Gordon Korman. She wasn’t particularly funny, which quickly became a serious problem. Then she dreamed of being an exchange student in Japan and using her newfound fluency to consume comic books by the boatload. That plan didn’t work out, either.

Instead, she went off to teach English in Osaka, and has been writing about Japan ever since.

She has two published novels set in Japan, Meet You By Hachiko, and a same-universe not-quite-sequel, Edokko. Both titles are part of the Sakura+Maple series banner and published by HachiPress.

If you’re interested in becoming part of the advance reader/launch team and gaining early access to new titles, check out http://arc.lorengreene.com

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 47 reviews
Profile Image for Angel 一匹狼.
743 reviews44 followers
March 7, 2021
This is one of the most enjoyable reads I have had in a long while. It is not a look into the darkness of the human soul or a study of human relationships under the prism of modern constructivism. However, it is a beautiful study about a friendship, about two, more or less lonely, human beings with the need to find someone to connect with, someone to be with, someone who understands them on top of 'just' listening to them. And I have to say that Greene has done a surprising job with this 'simple' story of two girls, almost university students, who have to navigate that difficult period of the last year before entering university and changing life forever.

The story is nice, with well developed characters (well, Jean and Rumi sometimes become a little cartoonish so the plot can develop (for example, Greene needs Grace to feel the need to find someone not from her everyday life and for that, Jean has to take a particular behavior that can feel a little bit forced)). However, to my surprise, those decisions never hinder the plot, they never make the reader dislike the characters or the story and they never stretch the suspension of disbelief to a breaking point. This shows the care that Greene has put into the story and into the characters.

On the down side, it can't be overlooked the fact that Grace is a little bit 'intense'. Her reaction to one very important plot development is way over-the-top. Yes, Greene needed an excuse to make her Canadian character behave in a particular way, but a better plot ruse should have been thought of. Or, if not, maybe make Kana and Grace closer friends: maybe they knew each other for a couple of years, when Kana started high school and saw how difficult it was going to be to have a good English level; or maybe, instead of Australia for a exchange program, she went to Canada, met Grace and Grace helped her and then, some months later they started to pen pal... There were, probably, better solutions.

The writing is very nice, with great rhythm, good descriptions, and for anyone who has been to Japan (Tokyo) it will be a cute nostalgia trip (I am more of a Kanto person, though). In particular if you were in Japan when the story is set: around 15 years ago (a Japan I remember quite well, actually, and it is very well depicted). The Japanese and the Canadian characters feel alive and also the world they live in, and that is not an easy job.

Loren Greene-san, this is a really good good story and one that has done a really great job of translating what it means to be a foreigner in Japan without falling into Orientalism or the tired 'they are weird!' messages. This is a cute, caring, and deep look into what it means to have a friend, grow up and trying to break free from the bonds that society, family or education put on us (a period all of us go through, with more or less intensity). I kind of want to do as Grace and write a message to Greene and offer her to become pen pals and write a story together. This feeling, that I had when I finished the story, tells me how much I cared for Grace and Kana, that I want to read more about them and also tells me that I am in front of a good, probably great, storyteller.

Great job!

The best: the characters

The worst: some silly decisions those same characters take

Further reading: "コーヒーが冷めないうちに" by Toshikazu Kawaguchi is a good option; Shigeko Yuki or Saneatsu Mushanokoji if you want to go old style; there are some manga set in high school (I kind of want to recommend "Again!!" by Mitsurou Kubo, a hilarious and totally worth reading manga).


*I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily. Thank you booksirens and Loren Greene*

(English; original)
Profile Image for Mc Chanster.
405 reviews
March 13, 2021
Every once in a while, I read a novel that just makes me smile, and this is exactly what Meet You By Hachiko did.

Grace (Canadian) and Kana (Japanese) are both on the edge of adulthood. While one has basically perfected the skill of being invisible, the other is running herself ragged trying to study and cram for university entrance exams. They connect by chance when Grace takes a risk and messages Kana through an online Toyko fashion magazine. Friendship blossoms and the girls find each other to be kindred spirits. When Kana faces an unexpected problem, Grace’s only concern is for her friend and in a completely uncharacteristic move, she picks up and flies to Japan. While her primary concern is to figure out whether Kana is all right, Grace also discovers there is a lot more to her that just the girl who hides away.

This was a great book about friendship, courage and just… growing up. In alternating points of view between Grace and Kana, there were several moments where I was reminded of being eighteen and fighting against my own thoughts of insecurity and self-doubt, especially when it came to friends and the opposite sex. I found both mains to be wonderfully honest and their issues to be (sometimes) painfully accurate. I mean, really, who doesn’t remember that first ‘I-think-I-like-you-do-you-like-me’ moment?

Yes, there were moments that felt a little slow, but I found these to be few and far in-between. I thought the writing itself was uncomplicated and easy to follow, and I loved the descriptions of Japan and all the places Grace visited. Character growth was wonderfully done - it was great to see how Kana and Grace had changed and matured throughout the novel. I was surprised at the emotions I felt, but that just made me fall into the plot even more. Also, yay Canadian writer! Well-written and thoroughly enjoyable!

Thank you Voracious Readers and Loren Greene for my copy!
Profile Image for Denise.
6,456 reviews104 followers
March 7, 2021
This was so, so lovely. There are two kinds of YA books: The ones that just make me feel ancient, like I'm just way too old for all this nonsense and drama, and the ones that succeed in taking me back in time and making me feel like a teenager again. Meet You By Hachiko is very much the second kind.

It's the story of two girls, shy and all-but-invisible Grace from a small town in Newfoundland, Canada, who discovers a new passion through the world of Tokyo Street Fashion online and in imported magazines that makes her want to reinvent herself, and Kana from Saitama, Japan, who embodies that magazine-featured Tokyo Fashion life when she isn't running herself ragged cramming for her upcoming university entrance exam. Striking up an unexpected online friendship, the two girls become each other's support as both experience troubles in friendships, romance and school life. When Kana suddenly stops replying to messages, Grace becomes so worried about her friend that she musters up all her courage to hop on a flight to Tokyo in an ill-conceived, desperate attempt to find one girl in a city of millions that she has never been to and the language of which she doesn't speak.

A sweet, realistic, uplifting tale of friendship, of finding the courage to step out of one's comfort zone, of growing up and following one's heart, imbued with hope and dreams and a little hint of bittersweet melancholy, this book just felt like it was written for me. That the author is intimately familiar with the settings she brings to life is palpable, it all feels so very true to life. In the afterword she explains that the book was originally written around 2008, and while the year it's set in isn't specifically mentioned in the story, it does feel like mid-to-late 2000s rather than present day in all the best ways - which is probably part of why it gave me such a wonderful nostalgic feeling and took me back in time so completely.

*** I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review. ***
Profile Image for Iris Ymra.
174 reviews19 followers
December 19, 2020
“Sayonara is for long goodbyes. Don’t be gone so long.” Kana raised her hand in a stilled wave. “Let’s say ‘see you later’ instead. Mata ne.”


I love the plot building, and though the reading pace somewhat slow for me, but it's the kind that not tedious at all but rather exciting and one I really enjoyed. While the narration going back and forth from Grace to Kana, that really helped to make the storyline well arranged -- a style of writing that I do prefer.

The storyline still in the kind of conflict you could find in a young-adult book. Where teenagers facing conflict to find and discover who their true self are, and in the journey to build their personality with responsibility and relationships in line to be given their same amount of attention. Yet this book brought it to a different level with two different culture, country and people come together. And surely the author's knowledge about Japanese culture really shown in the writing.

I love the characters, they do show some low self-esteem characteristics and how they then broke through into a new phase of personality. Both Grace and Kana thought that they are a coward, but see upon each other as someone who is brave and confident. This just shows how we are definitely aren't the same way people see us.
37 reviews3 followers
December 29, 2020
I liked this story.
The story regarding the two main characters and their likeness and strength come through beautifully. I love HEA. Even though this isn’t a love-love story.

However some things I noticed where the time stamps didn’t make sense to me. Time zone differences were backwards?!?! And Japanese wasn’t translated.
I get that this story took a long time from start to publish, so I think that may have been lost in the re-reads for beta testers.
As a first novel, I think it was overall well done, though if a person who has never been to japan, may get lost in the shuffle.

Profile Image for Martina Weiß.
Author 6 books19 followers
May 12, 2021
3.5 / 5 Stars

I've finished this a few days ago and yet, I'm still unsure about how to rate this.
There was a lot of stuff that I liked, which is why, I was practically binge reading this in one setting. I couldn't because I had to do other human stuff, but I think you get what I'm trying to say.

This is obviously contemporary, so it's not like I was expecting a kidnapping to happen or for one of them to commit die. And yet, the reason for as to why the plot happens and how everything is resolved left me feeling not quiet satisfied. There is a lot of good stuff in the book, but a lot feels rushed towards the end, because we spend a long time introducing conflicts and sub plots, that aren't all resolved at the end of the book.

I'd even say, that only 1 of our 2 MC's got a full, finished and complete character arc, where as the other one was left hanging. Even though the other one seemed like the one that was in more need of a completed character arc. This is especially sad, if you consider, that those two and their struggles were the main focus of the book.

Which brings me to the characters. I loved them. All of them. Simon was such a sweet heart. Grace was someone that I could see a lot of myself in, and Kana and Daisuke were great as well. I love how we got to know Daisuke, because I - same as Kana - was being like 'o.O Stranger Danger!' although Daisuke is nothing even close to stranger danger. I didn't expect to ship them, but here I am.
The main fokus wasn't on Kana & Daisuke or Grace & Simon though - on that later more - but rather on Kana & Grace. There were some sub plots around both of their bffs - especially around Grace and hers - but the focus was still on the slowly building relationship of Kana & Grace. The way those to slowly became friends was believable and sweet. I also thought that you could see a difference in english skill - especially in the written e-mails - and how that differnece started to slowly become smaller. Great detail. So anyways, when because the relationship was done so well, I could totally see and believe why Grace did what she did. HOWEVER after she arrives in Japan the point of 'OK, I see and understand your actions' beginns to fall apart. Yes, she wasn't really thinking this through BUT if she was really believing that Kana could have commited die - which was heavily implied - she should and would have acted differently. She should have tried to find Daisuke or Kanas parents. What she did instead was just walking around believing Kana - who she thought was either dead or missing - would just randomly appear somewhere in town.
And her actions after that point are also kinda questionable. Not in a moral sense but more in a 'what are you doing????' kind of way.

There was also an aro ace sub plot going on that I DID pick up apon and that I DID like, especially if you look at how it affected her and Simons relationship. Never seen this done before in fiction and I thought it was really great. Which is why I think that it was absolutly sad, that we didn't spend more time in and with this sub plot. I felt like it was really important! For Grace as a person but also - considering the ending of the sub plot - for the ace aro rep in books.
The sub plot around Grace's bff was also not as great as it could have been. Was a lot of it only happening in Grace head? Was her anxiety to blame? I don't think so. I really don't. And yet I feel like actions didn't really have as many consequences as they should have. There seemed to be a lack of communication happening. I'm not saying she should have ended that friendship, but if you look at Kana's bff and compare her to Grace's, - even though Rumi can be stubborn too - she still seems like the healthier and better friend.

Apart from those two sub plots, I also felt like Grace's search for self love and acceptance was still left open. Yes, those are hard things to tackle and yes you won't change your ways and views that fast, but I still felt like Grace got the shorter end of the stick in regards to development.

So this leaves me with a book that was not bad, but rather fluffy. A book that had great characters and an interesting take on aroness. And a story, that taught me a lot about Japan and its culture.
Great stuff.
And yet it could have been more.

Profile Image for Katheyer.
1,584 reviews17 followers
March 12, 2021
“Meet You By Hachiko” by Loren Green is a timeless story on friendship and commitment. A great YA book, which will also appeal to adult readers, as it possesses that unique charm of taking any reader back in time to their own teenager self. This is the story of two girls, separated by the second largest country in the world and a vast ocean, and united by their love for Tokyo Street Fashion.

Grace Ryan is a shy Canadian girl from Newfoundland, who discovers ganguro street fashion through Tamago and SwEET magazines, and dreams of her own reincarnation in a fashionable, cutting-edge, Harajuko girl. Mowokawa Kana is a typical Japanese girl living in Saitama, who lives and breaths Tokyo Street Fashion, even as a hard-working high school student (and believe it or not, there is not hardest high school system in the world). Grace and Kana become online friends, fulfilling each others needs, Kana is the embodiment of all Grace would like to be, while Grace is the perfect English-speaking opportunity for Kana. What begins as love for ganguro style evolves into a depth felt friendships between the two girls. Thus, a Kana abruptly ‘disappears’, Grace – worried for her safety – manages to gather the courage to fly to Tokyo with the bizarre idea of finding her friend among a population of over 36 million people. (the book is set in 2008, which plays a paramount role in Grace’s quest). Grace’s plan might be foolish, but the friendship is real.

Loren Green brings to life the characters, the setting (Tokyo) and the situation, immersing the readers in the story from the very beginning, and bringing them along throughout the trip and the search for Kana. An exceptional ode to pure friendship in a world that is in desperate need of more commitment and less thrill for the sake of thrill. Green’s accurate depictions of Japanese culture in general and Tokyo in particular are an added bonus, instantly recognizable for any Japanophile and incredible interesting and valuable for those who aren’t.
Profile Image for Anj✨.
176 reviews27 followers
May 26, 2021
Meet You by Hachiko is a realistic tale of friendship and growing up; what it means to go beyond one's comfort zone and to follow one's heart.

This was a cute and fast read with well-fleshed-out characters. I can relate to Grace’s insecurities and Kana’s struggle with being an Asian student (I’m Asian too). The setting is in Tokyo, and readers can feel that the author is really familiar with the place. The descriptions are vivid which makes me want to visit Japan, particularly Tokyo.

Meet You by Hachiko takes readers to their teenage self when pen pals were still the trend. The friendship between the two characters is so sweet and realistic. I love how the POV switches between Kana and Grace, it allows the readers to have a better grasp of their culture. It addresses themes that are commonly experienced by teenagers such as insecurity, finding one’s self, and a change of relationship with your parents and friends as you get older.

Thanks to Loren Greene and BookSirens for the DRC. All thoughts and opinions are mine.
Profile Image for Athena Grey.
14 reviews
April 2, 2021
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review. Here's the review!

Alright, listen. I'm a teenager, and I'm also on the internet, just like Grace, but I wouldn't jump on a plane to visit someone who might be a serial killer just because they didn't respond to my messages! That was a serious turn off for me, and that's what this entire book was about. I related to Grace on many fronts, she was a sympathetic MC. She tries to get out of her comfort zone and try new things to be happy, which I admire. Kana's story is way too relatable for any Asian student, such as myself, out there, and my heart went out for her so many times. I didn't like the way Grace's relationship with her best friend was handled, and I didn't like it that she was basically forced to have a boyfriend when she clearly wasn't romantically interested in him, though she loved him as a friend.

Reading this book felt like a fever dream in the weirdest way possible.
Profile Image for Ginevra.
14 reviews
March 9, 2021
I wished it was not as rushed in certain parts, especially the ones where the main character are around Tokyo, but overall it brings back lots of memory and feeling of finding yourself for the first time by in a completely different country such as japan which can be totally overwhelming
1 review
May 21, 2021
I usually stick to SF/Fantasy but while looking for something new to read in the endless pandemic lockdown I decided to step outside of my comfort zone and ended up finding this book super charming and also very relatable (as a Canadian who has lived in Japan). Greene is a skillful writer and her description of Japan in Meet You By Hachiko was so familiar I could easily picture the characters walking through the streets of Tokyo. I'll definitely check out more of her work when I need my next break from epic battles against dragons!
Profile Image for Misa.
1,034 reviews
June 1, 2021
I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily. Thank you Booksirens and the publisher.


I can't say how much this story was pleasing to read and the writing style made it even more agreeable to follow . I have to say that I wasn't expecting such a talent of narrating.

Because I'm a fan of Japanese culture and I have penpals I loved the story of Grace and Kana so much. A beautiful story of true friendship not just a thumbs up kind one, I mean it's a real one where you can find solace in just writing to another person who really like and enjoy being someone whom you can share the good and the bad of your daily life.

I felt this book so naive and precious for the relationship between the two girls was the kind one that you had once at some period of your life before adulthood knocks on your door . I mean, I was like these girls and I'm lucky to say that I had and still have these friends. Anyway, I loved that the author knew how to put this on paper in such a cute story.

The story is also about accepting oneself and not being afraid of what the other people might think about us and our tastes. It's my life not yours, it's my body not yours and it's my future not yours to decide which path I must take.

I loved Kana's character and her story's part even if Grace was the starting point of everything that happened. I didn't like many things about Grace's character and I didn't understood why she was so insecure for her social life was good, the only problem was that her parents were no more together and that wasn't new. I don't know why her only friend was Jean and she kept following her and wanting her to like what she wears or her taste when she could have had other friends at school. She befriended a Japanese girl so easily after all.

Anyway, I liked this story and how it was written, I loved the Japanese touch even more. I want to read more from Lauren Greene which is going to be her next book Edokko. Thank you for this enjoyable discovery.
Profile Image for BookishKaede.
8 reviews
May 9, 2021
Check my full review at www.bookishkaede.com

Well, being someone that has been to Tokyo alone many times, I couldn't not pick up this book and read it... It's such a cutie, easy reading, but with some deep notes that highlight the intensity of Japan and Japan life-style. The amount of pressure that society put on this young japanese girls and guys can be overwhelming, so overwhelming that Japan has the highest rate of high schooler suicides. This being said, I loved Kana, I liked Grace although I found her a bit "too much" sometime, but that is perfect for someone her age.

I highly recommend this book, it's a fun summer reading, well structured and so much fun to read.
284 reviews1 follower
March 4, 2021
Review through Voracious Readers Only

What a lovely wholesome read this was! This took me back to my younger days when I had penpals all over the world. I was a New Zealand teen and just like Grace - I was fascinated with my Japanese pals and their culture and schooling.
It was so refreshing to read a young adult novel that was so innocent and generally just a sweet story of friendship and the ups and downs of being a teen in a small town. I loved this book. I look forward to reading Loren Greenes next novel. 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
February 28, 2021
This was such a sweet story

This isn't what I really thought would come from a book marketed to young adults, but it's still a very sweet story about trying to find your true self.

Loren Greene shows knowledge of Japanese Culture, not just what is shown in your typical anime so I have to applaud them for this fact. Juggling the two cultures in the story is done very well and doesn't rely on stereotypes.

I can't recommend this book high enough. The relationship is organic and doesn't rush through, the personalities are very well defined and they allow them to grow as people.
Profile Image for Durga.
16 reviews
March 5, 2021
I really enjoyed reading this book! I loved how the narration flipped between Grace and Kana because it allowed me to learn more about both of their cultures through their pen pal interactions. Throughout the book, I feel like Grace and Kana's friendship is so crucial in helping them both mature. It was a very cute coming-of-age story.
Disclaimer: I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
Profile Image for Janelle.
519 reviews10 followers
January 8, 2021
I really enjoyed reading "Meet you by Hachiko" for many reasons, the first being that I lived in Japan for nine years on American military bases (1996-2000, 2004-2010). Because I know some basic Japanese language and I was able to go to Tokyo a couple times, I could easily put myself in the story. I got to see firsthand how amazing is the Japanese culture of consideration for others, honesty, hard work, giving, cleanliness, respect for your elders and many other lovely things I wish were part of my country! So I feel that Loren Greene did a nice job incorporating so much Japanese culture.

The second reason I enjoyed this novel was that it has realistic themes for teens to read about. I am a school librarian for middle/high school so I read a lot of young adult literature. The American publishing trends are nauseating at times where every novel meets a certain liberal checklist of LGBTQ+ issues, hyper-attention to race, violence, crude language and behavior, etc. While these are legitimate, intriguing things for teens, I think this novel addressed more basic worries of teens such as discovering and defining yourself, figuring out friendships and first romances, and changing relationship to parents as you become an adult.

My criticisms are few. I feel that the novel had an odd feel to it, like the author was not sure how to get Grace where she needed to be developed. It felt jerky how she ended up in Japan and it didn't make sense why she didn't reach out to Kana. The reader needs to know earlier on that this novel took place before smartphones, Google maps, and wifi everywhere. Also, the Simon relationship seemed underdeveloped and unrealistic. I believe there are genuinely good young men out there, but Simon was just too nice and undemanding.

I received a free e-copy from Siren books. All opinions are my own.
52 reviews4 followers
February 28, 2021
I liked the premise of this book and the story was great, it felt a little stretched in places where I wanted the next event to happen already. However in other places I was keen for more detail. I enjoyed finding out more about Japan and Tokyo in particular at that time and the descriptions of the fashions. I will be looking out for her next novel.
I was given a copy by voracious readers in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for LilliSt.
157 reviews5 followers
July 4, 2021
I have received an digital review copy via BookSirens and voluntarily provide my honest opinion. Thank you!

5 stars - So very lovely

Grace has mastered the art of being invisible, Kana is spending every waking minute of her life preparing for the entrance exams for the University she would like to enter. Grace is just discovering her personal style and has become kind of obsessed with Tokyo street style - so she contacts Kana over an internet website for a fashion magazine. It's a lucky coincidence as Kana is hoping to find a way to brush up her English and so they connect instantly.
They share their everyday worries and experiences and grow close. But then Kana disappears quite suddenly and Grace makes the - for her incredibly bold - decision to fly to Tokyo to try and find her friend, although she is not exactly the daring type and knows next to no Japanese. Of course, all will be well in the end, but until then both Grace and Kana will have to face many challenging situations that will eventually help them grow into the persons they want to be.

I feel like this book was written for the younger me when I became obsessed with Japan, the language, the culture, the street style, the music, everything. I can also relate so much to both Kana and Grace who have a hard time speaking up for themselves, always trying to please everybody, not taking good care of themselves. And I just love how they can support each other through their friendship.

The pacing and progression of the plot is very much character-driven (just like in the sequel "Edokko"), which I very much prefer. It is also always great to have a cast of different personalities who all feel well realized and a story that is not comprised of manufactured drama but is just a big slice of life.

I have already read Edokko (the sort of sequel) and I had the same distinct feeling with it as I had with this one: I found the storytelling to be very "Japanese" for lack of a better word. There is a much stronger reliance on realistic situations, nuanced characters and character growth.

This was one of the loveliest, most uplifting reads for me this year and I very much look forward to the next installment in the Sakura + Maple series!
Profile Image for Sizarifalina.
243 reviews
June 12, 2021
Tq BookSirens for the e-book

This book is all about a friendship between two people from different nationalities and backgrounds. Such an enjoyable light read. It got me out of my reading slump. Yeay!

I like Grace. She believes in her capabilities and sticks to her principles. Yes, she went to Japan to look for her missing Pen Pal , Kana. It was so brave of her to travel to a country that she only read about it in magazines and also from Kana’s e-mails.

Kana is such a carefree person. She takes things differently from Grace. I was kinda mad with her because she was not that concerned about Grace but later it ended up ok. She cared about Grace’s safety.

I learned a lot from this book. Japanese fashion like ‘gyaru-kei, Hime-gal or Mode-gal’ . Japanese emoticons are called kaomoji. Cultural festivals in Japan like bunkasai. If you want to know about Japan from a teenager’s PaoV , this book is a good start.

If we watch Japanese Dramas or Korean Dramas, we would often see students attending cramp schools . This is the education culture there. Cramp schools are described well in this book. The educational system in Japan is different from other countries. But nevertheless, the goal to ace and further one’s studies makes it the same as other education cultures.

The friendship between Grace and Kana is so beautiful. The way they immediately feel comfortable with each other even though they are from different backgrounds is so heart warming.

There is a bit of romance too. Grace & Simon + Kana & Daisuke. Here I got to experience what love means to the millennials. 🙈 Not much different actually from those days in the 80s-90s 🤭 Well they have handphones and internet access. So some of their relationship & friendship problems are not the ones that I experienced 🙈

Valuable lesson : We would appreciate things and see things different when we lose something .

Ok now it is time to read the second book by the same author!
Profile Image for Laura McDonald.
15 reviews
June 23, 2021
* Thank you to Voracious Readers Only and the author for a complimentary copy of this book * Meet You By Hachiko by Loren Greene is an enjoyable young adult book about a teenage friendship and the journey it leads its characters on. Dotting between the narratives of Grace - a quiet senior high schooler in Newfoundland, Canada, longing to be able to stretch her wings and explore her passions more; and Kana - at the same stage in Japanese schooling, living and studying in Tokyo and struggling under the pressure of exam deadlines and academic future; it tells the story of how the girls’ shared love for Japanese fashion draws them together across the continents and sets them on a path together. This book had a lovely feel to it - never having been to either Canada or Japan it was an interesting insight into the cultures in both countries that I thoroughly enjoyed - especially the elements around Christmas and New Year which I always love in any book and which were fascinating in their contrasts. One of the things that was really remarkable about this book though was that even though these cultures were so different to my own and to each other there was something very recognisable in the angst of the relationships, studying and coming of age of the characters regardless of location, as the author tapped beautifully into the universal experience of teenage life. I really enjoyed this book, it was light and entertaining and for all the characters’ flawed navigating of these tricky years I found myself rooting for them so much as they found their way amidst the pressures around them. A nostalgic and engaging read about the universal struggles of coming of age with lovely insights into life in both Newfoundland and Tokyo.
Profile Image for Serena Snively.
16 reviews2 followers
June 14, 2021
It isn’t often one finds a book set in Canada (even in part) especially small town Canada. The sense of a small town where one wants to be themselves but tends to shy away in fear of standing out too much was spot on.

This was a unique take on a coming of age story showing that people from different cultures feel the same pressure, stress and will do anything for a friend. Even making a drastic choice that will change the course of their life.

The two worlds were very well crafted and well maintained through out. When the worlds meet you experience the culture shock along with Grace when she arrived in Japan and was searching for Kana while being limited by not knowing Japanese.

At times there were lulls in the momentum. The lulls usually arise when a side character was making an odd choice for the sake of moving the story forward. The relationship with Simon got mostly pushed to the side once Grace was in Japan. With that it was odd when all of a sudden she comes to realization she didn’t feel for him the way he did for her. I feel this could have been flushed out a bit more to make the conversation with Kana towards the end more pivotal.

Despite the lulls and odd choices it was an enjoyable read. Once Grace had decided she was going to Japan the book sucked me into the point of not wanting to stop reading.

* I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Voracious Readers Only and Loren Greene. *
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Steff (BooksAndTheBigScreen).
82 reviews3 followers
January 17, 2022
*I received a complimentary copy of the book from the author via Voracious Readers Only*

'A student who might fall through the cracks, not for failing, but for failing to stand out.’

Boy, this line hit me. I immediately liked Grace and could feel the similarities literally within the Prologue. The feeling of invisibility throughout early life. I'm just glad that with age I was more comfortable in my own skin and could feel myself hoping Grace will too - not because she should, but because she may find her confidence and love for herself.

I literally was drawn to this read simply because of the title: Hachiko / Hachikō is one of my favourite films and stories so this was an immediate yes sign me up. For those who aren’t familiar, Hachikō was a Japanese Akita who is remembered for his remarkable loyalty to his owner, for waiting over 9 years for his owner to return but his owner had died. A statue lies where Hachikō would wait at Shibuya Station.

The story itself wasn’t about Hachikō, but the involvement made me smile all the same.
'If a person meets someone in Shibuya or becomes lost, they always find each other at Hachiko. Rumi and I do this, too.'

It’s a really delightful read with some likable and relatable characters. I loved the fact these friends became close overseas on their shared love for fashion. English being a small ‘barrier' but no barrier that can’t be overcome with translations and patience it was a joy to read. I think we’ve all made friends online too so think this story would appeal to most ages.

I’m also a sucker for mixed media so having their messages laid out was so lovely.
It's a read I would recommend and would love to read more by this author.
Profile Image for CJ.
12 reviews4 followers
April 8, 2021
This book had me in my feels! Making friends with strangers on the internet! Trotting the globe! Lying to your parents! Ah, to be young again.

I don’t think I would ever fly across the ocean to see someone, maybe if my parents were a little less intense I would? Who can say.

I moved to a new country all by myself back in ‘08 and while it was easier for me (compared to Grace) since I spoke the language, that feeling of being in a new place was very relatable, trying to figure out maps and transit and the currency, yup, been there.

Grace is one brave girl, she may not see that about herself right away but she really did step out of her comfort zone and really grow into herself. Kana basically killed herself trying to make everyone happy and be the best she could be at everything. Again, relatable. I loved watching her set some boundaries and make her own rules for what she wanted to do and how she wanted to be treated. That is Growth!

I loved this journey through Tokyo and all the sights and sounds made me feel like I really was there. I would love to visit someday and grab a slice of strawberry shortcake at a little cafe. What a dream!

The line at the end about ‘Sayonara’ being for Long Goodbyes made me tear up. All in all, loved it, recommend it, want more books in this universe.

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for annies.
74 reviews
December 14, 2021
Meet You by Hachiko has been one of the cutest stories I have read this year. I loved that not only is the story heart-warming contemporary but that it also had a splash of adventure as well.

I connected with the two main characters, Grace and Kana, right away. I can remember going through situations like they went through causing similar feelings in my life many times over the years. I related to Grace the most as I feel that our personalities are almost exactly the same... makes me wonder if she is an INFJ(Meyers-Briggs) as well.

One of my favorite quotes of the book was "If you feel it's right, you have to act - because if you think too much about something, you might never find the courage to follow through." It spoke to me on such a deep level, I tend to overthink things quite a bit, and I feel that this is really good advice. Not only in regards to my life now but I wish that I had heard it when I was in High School. In taking it as advice it may not always work the way we think it will(as Grace found out), but at least in the end you can say that you did it.

I received a free copy of this book from the author via Voracious Readers Only in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Ruth.
7 reviews
July 8, 2021
Meet You By Hachiko was a beautiful story and I am excited to read the sequel. I enjoyed the plot and the characters quite a bit. In this story, Grace, who lives in Canada, begins talking to Kana, who lives in Japan. Their friendship blossoms from a love of fashion, a desire to learn one another's native language, and a sense of separation and loneliness from those around them. The story that follows explores what a virtual friendship looks like through school hardships and romance troubles. I related to the characters and I found them realistic.
It is hard to pinpoint exactly what in the story did not make it five stars for me. This is a book that I absolutely will read again and I want to read the sequel but its closer to four and a half stars for me. Personally, I had issues getting into the story and I think that is on me and not the book itself. I felt that the plot was interestingly paced but that contributed to my ability to get into the book and my pace while reading the book. Overall I will definitely recommend this book, I look forward to reading the sequel, and I will be looking for more wor from Loren Greene.
I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
Profile Image for dany books.
11 reviews1 follower
April 2, 2022
I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
Well, this was my first Book Sirens read and I liked it a lot, this is a young adult very very fresh. In this story, we follow the friendship of two girls that live in opposite places in the world.
Momokawa Kana is a senior in a Tokyo high school, she loves fashion and wants to enter Nishi Gaidai University so badly that she has cram school almost every day after her classes.
Grace Ryan lives in Newfoundland, Canada, she is a very shy and average girl, but she wants to be a little more noticed in school, also she loves to make her own cloth and accessories, she is a fashion fan like Momokawa.
Momokawa and Grace meet in an online fashion magazine called Sweet, and there starts a beautiful long-distance friendship.
I liked this book a lot but it was a little too slow pacing for me. I loved the descriptions of Japan that took me there in my imagination but in some scenes, I needed more details.
Thank you very much to the author and Book Sirens for the Arc.
Profile Image for Megan Drummond.
12 reviews
February 8, 2022
I received a complimentary copy of the book from Loren Greene via Voracious Readers
Only, all my reviews are honest.

The book is good and sweet. But it was hard for me to keep track of who we were reading about. Was it Kana or was it Megucchi?? Reading about the different lives of 2 girls in different parts of the world was interesting. Seeing how an online friendship can affect your personal life was interesting to read about. Great book, allows you to hear about the different behaviors and cultures between 2 countries, but also helps explain what its like being a tourist in a foreign country.

Great book, would of loved it more if it was slightly easier to figure out who we were reading at that moment. It was a new style for me. Haven't really read something similar to this book but it was still good.
Profile Image for Sam.
84 reviews2 followers
December 29, 2020
The book was too slow paced in my opinion, though I started liking it more after page 150 or so.

I loved the way the author described the characters and how they're completely different but still drawn to eachother. I liked the plot and the ending but it took me so long to finish this book because of the slow pacing.

In a few parts, the japanese wasn't translated to english, which left me confused because I had no clue as to what it meant. However I did appreciate the love this book has shown for Japan, such a beautiful country.

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
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